Format: 500 word FLF
Summary: Denethor writes a letter.
The cold passed reluctantly from the earth, and the retiring fogs revealed an army stretched out on the hills resting.
Denethor scrambled to his feet and stretched out his long limbs. He fumbled in his pack and took out writing materials. There was time to write to Finduilas before the rest of the camp was abroad.
He seated himself beneath a nearby elm tree, his back against the trunk and the parchment upon his lap. He began to write.
My dearest wife,
The campaign is going well and I find myself with a moment of leisure to write to you.
It gladdened my heart to learn that our Boromir is doing so well with his sword practise for one so young. Our son will make a mighty warrior and a great Steward in the fullness of time. I miss my boy so much! He is such a remarkable child.
So Faramir is now a precocious talker who has learned to recite some verses despite his tender years? I am glad the boy is proving intelligent, but hope he will prove as apt with the sword as his brother. You think the little one gives such clever answers that he has the makings of a statesman? A worthy calling, but not in this present age when Gondor has such sore need of warriors.
I hope you are taking care of your health, dear wife, and the cough you have been suffering from these past months is improved. Have you consulted another healer yet? The woman who said you needed sea air obviously didn’t know what she was talking about.
We passed by a great lake yesterday and saw a truly remarkable sight. The water was very clear and the rocks beneath gave the appearance of underwater ruins. It made me think of Númenor of old. I wonder if the ruins appear thus on the ocean bed? We few Men of the West and our beloved Gondor are now all that remain of the former glories of our people. We must fight to our last drop of blood to preserve what is left to us in these latter days.
The camp was now stirring. His men would be awaiting their orders. Denethor dipped his quill in the inkpot and concluded his letter.
Have no fear for my safety, Finduilas. Now I am Ruling Steward, my duty is to command and inspire the men rather than throw myself into the affray. I hope to be reunited with you before Mettarë.
Your loving husband, Denethor, Steward to the House of Anárion.
He sealed the letter and got to his feet. He paused for a moment and looked up at the elm. For some reason the bare branches reminded him of the White Tree. This common elm would sprout in springtime, though, while the White Tree would remain forever lifeless.
A deep melancholy seized Denethor. He called to his servant for breakfast and as an afterthought asked. “There wouldn’t be any decent wine, would there?”